Monday, June 22, 2015

What If Jesus Is NOT GOD?

            Some Christians do not believe in Christ’s deity (i.e. Jesus Christ is God). They may subscribe to a position that denies Christ’s true divinity (e.g. Adoptionism or Eutychianism) and could belong to groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormonism.

            An average Christian who believes in Christ’s deity cannot expound or defend his belief when confronted by a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormonism, who would passionately deny Christ’s deity. Why?

            Broadly, Christians, having been continuously indoctrinated of Christ’s deity, blindly believe this to be a fact. They are vague, since they have not adequately considered this subject.

            Instead of examining reasons for Christ’s deity (i.e. why Christ is God), we could consider the implications of denying Christ’s deity (i.e. what if Christ is not God?). Those who deny Jesus’ deity should confront a few challenges that are highlighted here:

            First and foremost, the Bible reveals that man is saved ONLY if he believes in Christ (Galatians 2: 16; Romans 10: 9-10, John 3:16). The Bible also reveals Christ as God in human form (Mark 14: 61-62; John 20: 28; Colossians 1: 16-17; Philippians 2: 5-11; Titus 2: 13; Hebrews 1: 8). Those who deny Christ’s deity force their bias into these texts. A proper exegesis of these texts asserts Christ’s deity.

            So a believer of Christ should believe in Christ, and that belief includes Christ’s deity.  The classical understanding is that the second person of Godhead took upon the human nature in addition to HIS divine nature.   

            The disciples of Christ who believed in HIM were called Christians (Acts 11: 26c). If a person does not believe in Christ’s deity, he / she surely cannot qualify to be a Christian so to be on par with other Christ-believing Christians.

How Would People Be Saved If Christ Is Not God?

            Christ ought to be God to save mankind of sins through HIS sacrificial death [resurrection and ascension]. Christ’s virgin birth that precludes transmission of sin and HIS sinless perfection in life – an attribute of HIS divinity – are essential for man’s salvation.

            If Christ is not God, HE cannot be eternal, so HIS sacrifice cannot posit an eternal value i.e. HIS onetime sacrificial death cannot be appropriated to the believers in the past, present and the future.

            Salvation by grace through faith is a non-negotiable tenet of Historic Christianity. The Bible states that the believers are saved by the grace of God through their faith in Christ. Consequentially, our good works cannot get us to heaven.

            If Christ is not God, good works should get us to heaven. But the Bible categorically asserts that good works cannot save anyone (Romans 3: 20; Ephesians 2: 8-9; Titus 3: 5).

            An imperfect (sinful) man cannot perform good works to perfection. So he cannot go to heaven. If God still hauls this imperfect man into heaven, then by implication, good works is unnecessary, since God, in any case, will haul all degrees of imperfections into heaven. So salvation by good works is a self destructing position.  

            Significantly, those who do not believe in Christ as God remain in an appalling predicament. If good works cannot save people and if the man Jesus cannot save people, how would they be saved (if Christ is not God)?

Could The Man Jesus Save Humanity?

            Why was Jesus’ narrative included in the Bible if HE was not considered as God by the authors? If Jesus is not God, HE is a meaningless component in the Bible.

            Some may argue that God saves people through the man Jesus. Why would God sacrifice a man to save mankind of their sins when HE could have sacrificed a goat or an unclean pig?

            Why did God intend horrendous suffering and crucifixion for the man Jesus when suffering was totally unnecessary? Is God a cosmic sadist?  

            If Christ was a man, he was a sinner. An imperfect sacrifice cannot save mankind from their sins. A sinner cannot save another sinner. Or on what merits could a sinner save another sinner?

            God-ordained animal sacrifices (performed in the Old Testament) provided a temporary covering of sins. The animal sacrifices did not save man, but God saved man through the animal sacrifices.

            So Christ’s sacrifice, if HE were not God, would be non-salvific or could only save  himself – albeit temporarily, not permanently.  

            Hence C.S Lewis in his classic work Mere Christianity said, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

            In addition, if Christ is not God…

Bible Is Erroneous

            Bible is the primary source that reveals Christ’s deity. The Bible would be fallible if Christ is not God. A fallible Bible is not trustworthy.

Christianity & Other Theistic Religions Are Alike

            The deity of Jesus Christ is a significantly unique facet of Christianity. Nothing separates Christianity from other religions if Christ is not God.

            In fact, Hinduism believes in the deity of Christ. Hindus believe that Christ is one among the many gods they believe in. If Christians do not believe in Christ as God, it seems that Hindus are more Christians than the non-Christ-believing Christians.

Christ Need Not Be Believed Or Worshipped

            Belief and worship of Christ is immaterial if Christ is not God. But the Bible mandates everyone to believe in Christ for salvation and worship HIM alone [W].

            If Christ is not God, people merely ought to believe in God. So which flavor of God should they believe in? Obviously not the God of the Bible, since the Bible would be erroneous if Christ is not God. So would they believe in the God of Quran or Vedas….?

            In order to conclude, let us consider the following:

Necessity of Christ

            The apostle Paul, after establishing Christ’s divinity, asserts Christ’s necessity, “…and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied…” (1 Corinthians 15: 17-19, NASB).

            Resurrection of Christ makes profound salvific sense only because Christ is God. Had Christ not been God, HIS resurrection would have been a mere miracle without salvific significance, similar to the resurrections of the widow’s son, Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter.

How Did Christ Respond To Those Who Did Not Believe HIM?

            The Pharisees denied Christ’s deity. So Christ doomed them to hell (cf. Matthew 5: 20). HE also humiliated them by labeling them blind guides, fools, snakes, brood of vipers, hypocrites, and whitewashed tombs.

            So Christ is God. There’s no denying this fact. But there are consequences to denying Christ. I pray that everyone believes in Christ and be saved. Amen.  


[W] The Bible mandates worship of Jesus (Matthew 2:2, 2: 11, 4: 10, 8: 2, 14: 33, 28: 9; Luke 24: 52; John 9: 38; Hebrews 1: 6), thus affirming Christ’s deity. 


Anonymous said...

Hmm. An interesting article. A really controversial topic.
However, the title is about as meaningful or objective as these:
"What if Earth was NOT orbited by two giant chocolate donuts?"
"What if cows did NOT have nine legs and fly upside down?".

The Bible is clear as day on your topic. However, mankind has taken upon itself the task of obscuring the truth with traditions and philosophy.
NOWHERE in the Bible is there a statement that confuses the position of Jesus and puts him in the place, or as the equal, of his Father, the Creator. Not even the laziest Bible student would assert that the 'trinity' is a thing.

You've put in some decent effort to make an argument, but unless you want to use Bible scriptures in context and with any level of honesty; it all falls flat, as it has done herein.

God makes Man.
Man betrays God.
God sends Son.
Man kills Son.
God Saves Man anyway.
Man invents trinity.
Trinity betrays Man.
Man disowns God.
God loves Man anyway.
Man kills God.
God loves Man anyway.
Man destroys God.
God loves Man anyway.
God destroys Sin and Death.
And Man loves God again.

Raj Richard said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for posting your thoughts.

Please listen to these podcasts or read the transcripts, and let me know where there is a problem and we shall take it from there.....

You may also want to understand this...